Loud and Clear, by Aidan Wayne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 23, 2016
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Jaxon is getting by fine, severe dyslexia or not. Being a cab driver means he doesn’t need to read much, and the job has its perks. The pay isn’t bad, the people can be interesting, and having memorized the city streets keeps him from feeling too stupid.
When he picks up Caleb, a quiet fare in a nice suit, Jaxon doesn’t think anything of it. Then he ends up driving Caleb home the next week too, and the next, and the next. Eventually Caleb tries to communicate—by writing things down. Turns out that Caleb has such a bad stutter he spends most of his time mute.
If only Jaxon had an easier time reading what Caleb had to say. But he’s interested in trying, and Caleb seems interested back. They discover that, with a little bit of effort, it isn’t so hard to make themselves understood. Especially when what’s growing between them is definitely worth talking about.
Characters With Disability
This novella has a fascinating premise, and I was eager to read this story to see how the author would handle the interactions between two men who cannot easily communicate.
The answer: with a lot of patience.
I think that was my favorite part of this novel, the patience that Caleb has with Jaxon’s severe dyslexia, and Jaxon with Caleb’s stutter. Both men fully understand what it’s like to have difficulty with a vital form of communication, so they can relate to one another.
However, the relationship itself fell flat to me. A cab driver and a wealthy market researcher, who only have their disabilities in common? There were so many aspects of the relationship that were never discussed in depth, like Jaxon’s discomfort with Caleb’s wealth and the fact that they really have no common interests. Or… maybe they do, but those just weren’t shown.
The focus of the novel was on each man accepting his own disability, which was lovely to read, but unfortunately I just couldn’t believe the relationship between them.
Aidan Wayne is a big believer in character-driven stories with happy endings. This is not to say that stories can’t contain a little (or a lot) of grief, just that at the end of it all expect there to be bandages and hugs. They particularly like to write about differently abled characters because damn it, they deserve happy endings too.
When not writing, Aidan enjoys practicing aerial, martial arts, and ASL, and watching reality cooking shows. They are probably in the middle of twelve projects as you read this.
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.